Artlady Melissa Bess
1996 – Present, Art Teacher, Southwind Elementary School, Memphis, TN
I create art obsessively. It has to be of my highest quality for me to put my name on it, so my work is not rushed, but compulsively created. I can often be seen painting or drawing in local restaurants, businesses, outside, or during lunch time in my elem. classroom where I teach, you may have guessed, art. Any place and any time I have what would be “waiting time,” I create. I don’t do down time. “Idle hands…” and all.
I use a wide variety of mediums. I may have an oil painting in progress in my home studio and an acrylic painting in my classroom all while I carry colored pencils and watercolors with a high quality notebook in my purse for art-on-the-go.
My work consists of mainly family farm life settings. It is a place where people take pride in hard work done well by their own hands. I start drawings from reference photos I have taken of people in period clothing and arranged antiques in natural lighting to help my viewer feel like they are part of the scene. There is a calmness I feel when creating my artwork. I hope there is a calmness for you viewing my work as well.
I am always advancing my painting techniques and creating new artworks. I create because I must. It isn’t all talent. It’s a skill developed through years of obsessive study and dedicated work. As you read this I am most likely painting in a log cabin, East of Memphis, Tennessee.
Favorite Bible Verses:
“Neglect not the gift that is in thee.” 1 Timothy 4:14
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
(admittedly with altered context)